Garden of the gods を訪ねた時、友達が「Prickly pearだ！」と言いました。指差す方を見ると、そこにはサボテンが。アメリカではサボテンの中でもヒラウチワサボテンと呼ばれる平たいサボテンを Prickly pear と呼ぶそうです。なんで pear (西洋ナシ) なのかは不明です。サボテンと言えば砂漠。実はこのGarden of the gods の辺りは冬には雪も降りますが、岩だらけなので、雪がない時はとても乾燥しています。右の写真は、Garden of the gods の奇妙な形の岩岩に背を向けてまわりの風景を撮ったもの (荒涼とした大地に一本の道が絵になっていませんか？)。まわりはこんな感じの乾燥地帯です。
When we went to Garden of the gods, my friend found a cactus and said "It's a prickly pear!". I checked Wikipedia and found that this kind of cactus is called prickly pear, although it is unclear why it is called "pear". Japanese name of this plant is Hira-Uchiwa-saboten, which means flat Japanese fan-like cactus. You may think that cactus prefers desert. Although garden of the gods has lots of snow in winter, this region is made of rock, thus very dry. So when snow is gone, this region is like desert (See right picture. Apart from the topic, I like the picture. Do you like it?).
My friend in Maryland showed me Spanish moss. According to Wikipedia, Spanish moss is an epiphyte (a plant that lives upon other plants; from Greek "epi"=upon "phyte"=plant), which absorbs nutrients (especially calcium) and water from the air and rainfall. It can grow so thickly on tree limbs, but it rarely kills the trees, although it lowers their growth rate by reducing the amount of light to a tree's own leaves. Not only demerit, it has merit to trees too. It also increases wind resistance to the host tree in a hurricane.
メリーランド州に住んでいた時、よくベランダに来た mourning dove (ナゲキバト) は、以前御紹介しました (コチラ)。 今回コロラド州に行く前に、メリーランド州に寄ったのですが、そこで mourning dove の赤ちゃんを見つけました。とってもかわいかったです。
Before I visited to Colorado, I dropped by Maryland, where I had lived four years. When I was there, mourning doves visited my apartment everyday. So I introduced this bird before (click here!). This time, I found baby mourning doves. They were so cute!!!
I saw lots of mesas in Colorado, when we were driving from Denver to south. Shapes of mesas are very unique, I felt like I visited a different planet. According to Wikipedia, a mesa (Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and Arwi for "table") is an elevated area of land with a flat top and sides that are usually steep cliffs (although mesas in Colorado are not so). Mesas form usually in areas where horizontally layered rocks are uplifted by tectonic activity, but may form also in its absence. Mesas are formed by weathering and erosion. Variations in the ability of different types of rock to resist weathering and erosion cause the weaker types of rocks to be eroded away, leaving the more resistant types of rocks topographically higher relative to their surroundings. As you can see, the tops look very hard, right? I felt long lapse of time of great nature.
パイクスピークはロッキー山脈の東端、コロラド・スプリングスの西16ｋｍに位置する山です。標高は4301m (14110 feet) もあります。1806年に探検家のゼブロン・パイク(Zebulon Pike)によって紹介された為にPike’s Peak と名づけられました。アメリカで最も人々が訪れる山で、年間50万人が毎年山頂に到達するそうです。車やバイク好きの方は、パイクスピーク・インターナショナル・ヒルクライム(Pikes Peak International Hillclimb)という毎年アメリカ独立記念日にコロラド州で行われるレースで、この場所の事を御存知かもしれませんね。
私がコロラドを訪れた前日に2 feet (60 cm)の雪が降り、特に山の上ではひどいブリザードだったようで、今回山頂に続く道は雪に閉ざされ Crystal reservoir (クリスタル貯水池）と呼ばれる標高2057m (6750 feet) の所のちょっと先までしか行けませんでした (写真はその貯水池)。それでも確か3000mは突破したハズ。標高2000m以上になるとかなり酸素が薄く (山頂は麓の50%しか酸素がないそう）、気圧が低くて耳の調節が必要で、貯水池の手前にあった売店で食べたホットドッグを食べたのですが（なぜかおいしかったです。良い空気のせい？）、ホットドッグにかけるマヨネーズの袋はパンパンに膨らんでいました。山頂にはOxygen bar (酸素バー) なんてものもあるようです。私が寄った売店にも Need oxygen? と書かれたTシャツが売られていましたよ。
We visited pikes peak also. Pikes peak is the most visited mountain in North America; more than a half million people reach the summit every year! But Pikes peak is not the highest mountain in Colorado. With an altitude of 14,110 feet above sea level, Pikes peak ranks 31st amoung Colorado's 54 fourteeners, which are mountains with peaks 14,000 feet or more above sea level. If you like cars or motorcycles, you may know The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), which is an annual automobile and motorcycle hillclimb to the summit of Pikes Peak.
One day before we visited Colorado, Colorado had a 2 feet snow in city, and it was even worse in mountains. Thus, road was closed middle of the way to the summit of Pikes peak. But we reached nearly 9842 feet (3000 m). During the way, we passed the Crystal reservoir, which is located at 6750 feet (2057m). Above photos were taken there. We had a hot dog there. That was yummy. But since the air pressure is very low there, a pack of Mayonnaise was expanded. Our ears also needed to adjust to the pressure. Air was also thin. The store, which we had the hot dog, was selling T-shirts with "Need oxygen?". At the summit, there is a oxygen bar (although we were not able to reach the summit this time), since air has only half the oxygen found at sea level.
Garden of the gods [名] 神々の庭と呼ばれるコロラド州のColorado Springsにある奇妙な形の岩がある場所
デンバーの南に1時間ほどドライブすると、Garden of the gods と呼ばれる奇妙な形の岩がロッキー山脈の麓に連なっている場所に行けます。ここは、雄大な地球の歴史を垣間みれる場所です（人類の歴史ではありません。地球の歴史です。）。ロッキー山脈は、かなり内陸部にある高い山岳地帯で、その由来についてはまだ研究者が研究中です。でも現在は、おそらくプレートテクトニクスで説明できるのではないかと言われています。世界の他の場所より、アメリカ西海岸ではプレートが低角度で沈みこんでいるため、内陸にその影響が表れると考えられているようです（詳しくはコチラ）。現在コロラド州はアメリカ中で最高平均標高を誇る州ですが、実は海の底にあった事もあり、上下動を繰り返しているそうです。最初にできたロッキー山脈は固い岩でできていましたが、比較的新しい地層は柔らかく、海の下になったり上になったり、川が浸食したりを繰り返す内に固い初期のロッキー山脈が残り、柔らかい部分がえぐられ、Garden of the gods に見られる奇妙な浸食岩が現れたというのが、現在の地質学的見解のようです。Garden of the gods にある visitor center で、研究者達の研究成果を元に作られたこれらの地質的変動をビデオで視覚的に見る事ができます。たしか$5くらいだったので、行くチャンスがあればぜひ見て下さいね！インディアンがこのgarden of the godsをtrading (取引) の場所に使っていたとか、アメリカ人がここでバッファローを大虐殺したとか、人間の歴史についても学べます。
If you drive to south 1 hour or so from Denver, you can visit Garden of the Gods, where strange huge rocks are located. Here is the place where we can learn history of the earth, not humans. The growth of the Rocky Mountains has been one of the most perplexing of geologic puzzles. Normally, mountain building is focused between 200 to 400 miles inland from a subduction zone boundary, yet the Rockies are hundreds of miles farther inland. At a 'typical' subduction zone, an oceanic plate typically sinks at a fairly high angle. A volcanic arc grows above the subducting plate. During the growth of the Rocky Mountains, the angle of the subducting plate may have been significantly flattened, moving the focus of melting and mountain building much farther inland than is normally expected. Colorado is the only U.S. state that lies entirely above 1,000 meters (3,281 ft) elevation. But this state was under the see long time ago. Then this state was up and down, and rivers gouged mountains. Since very early part of Rocky mountain is made of hard rock and relatively new part is made of soft rock, rivers gouged the soft part and now hard part is left as a Rocky mountain and rocks at the garden of the gods. I saw a video that explains this history of the garden of the gods in a visitor center at the place. It was just $5 or so to see the very interesting video. So if you have a chance to visit the place, please watch the video. You can also learn humans history there such as...American Indians used the place as a trading spot, or Americans killed thousands of Buffaloes.
When we were driving a road in Rocky Mountain National Park, my friend said that he realized why this mountain is called "Rocky". I also realized why. This mountain is made of rock!!! Rock, rock, rock. Rock everywhere. There are few trees on mountains unlike Japanese mountains or mountains in other parts of the US, because of the poor nutrition. I like the feeling when I suddenly realize meaning of a word that is used everyday without any attention.
We saw three groups of elks in the Rocky Mountain National Park. "Elk" is called the "North American Red Deer" in Europe. In Europe, "elk" means "moose". It is little complicated. Wikipedia says that an European explorer found elk-like deer in the north America and called it elk, although it was not identical with elk in Europe. That is why the North American Red Deer is called elk in the US. Only the males have antlers, which start growing in the spring and are shed each winter. Since it was early spring in the region, the elks did not have any big antlers. One male in each group that we saw had a tag on its neck. Each group was headed up by a male tagged X2, Y8 and F0, respectively. I was little surprised by the that human is, kind of, controlling nature, although the Rocky Mountain National Park is huge.
I saw a flag that says "Estes Park Duck Race", when we went through Estes park town in Colorado. I did not know what is duck race. So I goodled and found a video of the duck race. Oh, it is so fun! The race seems to be held in all over the US and the world including Singapore, England, Sweden, Canada, Mexico, Australia, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.
デンバーの少し南にある Manitou Springs に行って来ました。ここには、Anasazi と呼ばれる古代インディアンが住んでいた住居を1900年初期に再現したものがあります。崖に作られたので、cliff dwellings (崖の住居) と呼ばれています。Anasaziは、ナバホ族（現在もいるインディアンの一部族) の言葉で、「祖先」とか「敵の祖先」とかいう意味なので、とくに特定の部族を指す訳ではないそうです。ただ現在のインディアンの一部族であるPueblo族は、Anasaziが自分の部族の祖先だと主張しているようです。いろいろ議論はあるようなので、興味がある方は調べてみて下さい。Anasazi はアメリカ南西部の Four Courners と呼ばれる4つの州 (コロラド、ニューメキシコ、アリゾナ、ユタ）の角にあたる辺りに住んでいたそうです。Anasazi がいた時代は1200 B.C. から、1300 A.D. まで。アメリカ人は先住民であるインディアンを迫害して来ましたが、こんなに長い事アメリカで独自の文化を培っていたのですね。Manitou cliff dwellingsも十分楽しく勉強になりましたが、いつかMesa Verde National Parkにある本物のAnasaziのcliff dwellingsを見に行きたいです。
I visited Manitou Springs and saw Manitou cliff dwellings. The Manitou Cliff Dwellings are a tourist attraction, located just west of Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Cliff Dwellings are replicas of Anasazi-style Indian cliff dwellings. The Anasazi peoples did not live in the Manitou Springs area, but lived and built their cliff dwellings in the Four Corners area, several hundred miles southwest of Manitou Springs. Four Corners is a region of the United States consisting of southwest Colorado, northwest New Mexico, northeast Arizona and southeast Utah. The word Anasazi is Navajo for "Ancient Ones" or "Ancient Enemy." But since modern Pueblo, who are traditional communities of Native Americans in the southwestern United States of America, claim Anasazi as their ancestors, it seems that there is a controversy. But I'm not a specialist, please study if you are interested in this issue. I would like to visit real Anasazi's cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park some day, although I'm so impressed by the Manitou cliff dwellings and enjoyed studying about it.
I found this sign, BIG FOOT XING, along the road in Rocky Mountain National Park. I like this American humor. In Japan, it seems that any humors are not allowed especially these days...like, a staff of Tokyo city designed a beautiful mark for Sewerage Works Division, but a stubborn stupid government bureaucrat did not like it, because the mark had a line which should not be there according to a stupid regulation that no one knows. Because of the one line, Tokyo spend another $350,000, which was our tax, to remake it. No one cares the extra line. Even Governor of Tokyo said that the line is beautiful. He scolded the stupid bureaucrat, after he spend the $350,000. Anyway, Bigfoot is an UMA (Unidentified Mysterious Animal), which has been observed around Rocky Mountain. These days, people think that it is probably a Grizzly bear, or just a fake.
こちらは、デンバーの南にある Cave of the winds (コロラド州の中央東寄り） を訪れた時に、そこの岩山 (写真右) にいた Chipmunk (シマリス) の一種です。コロラド州には5種類の Chipmunk がいて、それらは Colorado chipmunk, Hopi chipmunk, Uinta chipmunk, cliff chipmunk そして the least chipmunkです。これらは本当に良く似ています。 この中で、cliff chipmunkは、背中の縞縞模様がうすいので、除外できそうです。残る4種類は、住んでいる場所から見分けるしかなさそうです。Least chipmunkはコロラド州の中央から南にかけて住んでおり、Colorado chipmunkは、コロラド南部とワイオミング州近くの東斜面の山麓に沿う北部、Hopi chipmunk はコロラドの高地、Uinta chipmunkは中央山岳地帯。う～ん。どのchipmunkも可能性ありです。
When I visited cave of the winds, that is located in central Colorado, I saw a chipmunk (left photo) on the very steep cliff (right photo). Colorado is home to five species of chipmunks; Colorado chipmunk, Hopi chipmunk, Uinta chipmunk, cliff chipmunk and the least chipmunk. The most widespread chipmunk in Colorado is the least chipmunk. So, this chipmunk can be least chipmunk. But I'm not sure. We can remove the cliff chipmunk probably, because it does not have clear stripes on its back. But other four species look almost identical. The Colorado chipmunk lives in southern Colorado and northward along the foothills of the Eastern Slope nearly to Wyoming. The Hopi chipmunk occurs on the Colorado Plateau. The Uinta chipmunk is a species of the central mountains. The range does not help me to identify the chipmunk. Please let me know, if you have any good idea to identify it.
Colorado is home to many different species of ground squirrel. These upper photos are of the thirteen-lined squirrel, which I saw in city area in Denver. I introduced Wyoming ground squirrel the other day. The squirrel is also one one these ground squirrels. Colorado also has the grizzled brown rock squirrel, the white-tailed pronghorn squirrel and the golden mantel squirrel. In late summer, the thirteen-lined squirrel puts on a heavy layer of fat and stores some food in its burrow. It enters its nest in October (some adults retire much earlier), rolls into a stiff ball, and decreases its respiration from between 100 and 200 breaths per minute to one breath about every five minutes. It emerges in March or early April. So I'm really lucky to see them. They were just awake from their long sleep.
The day before the day I visited Denver, they had a 2 feet snow, which was also very rare for people in Denver for this season. But I went to Rocky Mountain National Park with my friend and saw these small vole-like animals. This is probably Wyoming Ground Squirrel. Their scientific name is Spermophilus elegans. They were looking for food under the deep snow.
こちらはロッキー山脈の山奥で見つけた Steller's Jay。和名はステラーカケス。メリーランド州に住んでいた時にベランダにたまに遊びに来た blue jay (青カケス) の親戚です。こちらの Jay は、頭が黒くて、crest (トサカ) があるのが特徴的です。ドイツ人の Georg Wilhelm Steller さんが1741年に見つけたので、Stellerさんの名前をとって、Steller's Jayと名付けられたそうです。
Name of this bird is Steller's Jay. I saw it in Rocky Mountain National Park in Denver. This bird is closely related to the Blue Jay, which I saw sometimes in Maryland. This bird is named after the German naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller who discovered them in 1741.
I visited DC and Denver from last Wednesday to today. I just went back from there. I saw this bird in Denver. Name of this bird is Black-Billed Magpie (scientific name is Pica hudsonia). In Japan, we have Magpie (scientific name is Pica pica). According to Wikipedia, these two species are almost identical, but little bit different. The black and white patten of this bird is so distinguishable. But I found that the black part is little bluish (see bottom picture).
東京で一番良く見かける鳩はドバトですが、たまにキジバトもいます。この写真の鳩がキジバトです。首の側面に青と白の横縞模様があります。また翼の黒と赤褐色の鱗状の模様が綺麗です。鳥の鳴き声を表記するのは難しいのですが、「デデッポッポー」とか「クークグッググー」のように鳴きます。小さい頃、秋田県の親戚のおうちに泊まりに行くと、早朝にいつもこの鳩が鳴いていました。東京にもいて少し嬉しいです。英語の common name はOriental Turtle Dove。Orientalという名の通り、ユーラシア大陸東部、日本に生息しています。
Although Rock Pigeon is the most common pigeon in Tokyo, we sometimes see Oriental Turtle Dove too. Japanese name of the dove is Kiji-bato. It has the black and white striped patch on the side of its neck, and the orange-brown wing feathers look like turtle. As its name suggest, it distributes in east Eurasia and Japan.
English common name of this plant is carpenter's herb. I'm not sure why this plant is called carpenter's herb. Japanese name is Seiyo jūnihitoe. "Seiyo" means "Western countries". The "jūnihitoe" is an extremely elegant and highly complex kimono that was only worn by court-ladies in Japan. Literally translated it means "twelve-layer robe" (Click here to see it). Do these flowers look like jūnihitoe? Good naming though. Scientific name of this plant is Ajuga reptans. For me, each flower look like a human.
Today, I saw a dragonfly nymph eating a tadpole in my pond. I took a video. Please watch. I think that this nymph is Orthetrum triangulare melania (scientific name)'s nymph. Japanese name of this dragonfly is Ooshiolara-tonbo. I will see whether this nymph will become the dragonfly or not soon.
Japanese name of this small bee (approx 7mm) with orange thorax is Nihon-kabura-habachi. Scientific name of this bee is Athalia japonica. It is endemic in Japan and distributes all over Japan. Worm of this bee is black and eats crucifer.
この派手派手しいカメムシは、ナガメと言うそうです。菜の花につく亀虫でナガメ。学名は、Eurydema rugosa Motschulsky。英語の common name はcabbage bug。でもキャベツにつく虫はなんでもcabbage bug なので、ナガメを特別に指した名前ではなさそうです。
Japanese name of this splashy shield bug is Nagame. Scientific name of this bug is Eurydema rugosa Motschulsky. English common name is cabbage bug. But as you imagine, it is not a specific name for this bug.
目黒の自然教育園でカタクリの花も見ました。ずっと図鑑なので見て、可憐で憧れていた花なんです。実際に見ても、とっても可憐で、春の訪れを感じました。英語の common name はなく、学名は Erythronium japonicum と言うそうです。学名からも分かるように、日本が原産で、韓国や中国でも見られるようです。昔は片栗粉はこのカタクリの根から取っていたらしいのですが、現在はジャガイモから取っているとか。知らなかったです。
I saw flowers of Katakuri. There is no English common name of Katakuri (Katakuri is Japanese name). Scientific name of this plant is Erythronium japonicum. As you can expect from the scientific name, it is native to Japan, Korea, and China. The flowers of this plant are not gorgeous, but so cute. Ancient Japanese took starch called "katakuri-ko" from roots of this plant, but now "katakuri-ko" is made from just potatoes. I did not know that.
Name of this plant is Menyanthes. Scientific name is Menyanthes trifoliata. The name Menyanthes comes from the Greek words menyein, meaning "disclosing", and anthos, meaning "flower", The flower of this plant has white hairs inside of its petals. It looks like ornaments of Christmas decorations. Leaves of this plant can be used as a stomach medicine. It's so amazing that many plants have so many components in them. It prefers to live by ponds or swamps. It's very interesting that this plant distribute allover the north semi sphere during glacial age. Now its distribution is limited in cold places. But I saw this plant in Tokyo, where is relatively warm. It is said that this plant in warm places is a remaining survivor of glacial age.
こちらはラショウモンカズラ。花びらの模様がとても綺麗です。名前の由来は京都の羅生門で渡辺綱が鬼退治をしたときに切り落とした鬼の腕に見立てたところから。昔の日本人の想像力の逞しさに脱帽です。英語の common name はMeehan's mint。学名は、Meehania urticifolia。分布は日本の他、韓国・中国にも分布しているようです。
This is a plant called Meehan's mint. Its scientific name is Meehania urticifolia. Japanese name of this plant is Rasho-mon kazura. Rasho-mon was a big historical building in Kyoto, Japan, although it was burned out long time ago. There is a very old story in Japan regarding the Rasho-mon. A Japanese samurai, Tsuna Watanabe, cut an arm of demon in front of the Rasho-mon. The flower of this plant looked like the arm of the demon for ancient Japanese (not for me!). Thus, the plant is called Rasho-mon kazura. Imagination of ancient Japanese is amazing.
こちらも目黒の自然教育園で見かけたノウルシの花です。鮮やかな黄色がとっても綺麗でした。ノウルシの名前の由来は、傷をつけると乳液が出て、それが肌につくとウルシと同じようにかぶれるかららしいです。花は綺麗だけれど、摘み取ったりするとかぶれてしまうので要注意ですね。英語の common nameはありません。学名は Euphorbia adenochlora。どうやらこの植物の分布は日本に限られているようです。日本の中でもノウルシは東京では絶滅、他の件でも絶滅危惧種となっています (参考: 日本のレッドデータ検索システム）。自然教育園のノウルシが、なくなりませんように。
Japanese name of this plant is No-urushi. Urushi means Japanese lacquer, which has a poison. Since this plant also has a poison, which causes skin rush, that's why this plant is called No-urushi (No means field in Japanese.). Flower of this plant is beautiful bright yellow. It probably only distributes in Japan. Even in Japan, it is threatened with extinction.
Fritillaria verticillata var. thunbergii [名] バイモ、アミガサユリ
目黒の自然教育園で見つけたバイモの花です。花を覗き込むと編み目模様があります。なので、アミガサユリとも呼ばれているようです。この植物の球根に含まれるフリチラリンなどのアルカロイドには、呼吸中枢の麻痺作用や心臓の収縮力を減弱作用があるそうです。漢方ではこの球根を咳止め等に使うそうです。昔の人の生活の知恵ってすごいですね。このバイモは中国原産で、英語の common name はないようです。学名はFritillaria verticillata var. thunbergiiというそうです。
Japanese name of this plant is Baimo or Amigasa-yuri. There is no English common name. Its scientific name is Fritillaria verticillata var. thunbergii. Its bulb contains alkaloidal toxins, which paralyze respiration center and decrease force of cardiac contraction. Its bulb is used for antitussive in a Chinese medicine.